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November 4, 2015

elections 15

I nearly made a joke yesterday about making sure to vote in precincts with nothing but unopposed candidates but I did not! Because voting is still real real important, and Americans lost their sense of humor somewhere around the turn of the century. (This century, not the last one.)

But the news here in the States is seemingly bad, as befitting a non-presidential, non-midterm year. Houston totally hates fags, and Kentucky elected a young version of Paul LePage, which version is evangelical and Tea Party. Here's Gov (Elect) Matt Bevin on the nuts and bolts of governance:

"I'm proud of the fact that this is a great night for Republicans in Kentucky and, more importantly, a great night for conservatives in Kentucky," Mr. Bevin told cheering supporters, who gathered at the Galt House Hotel overlooking the Ohio River. But, he added quickly, "we have a lot of work to do."

And to you other people of Kentucky... you're probably gay-marrying thugs who deserve to be flipped over in a school desk. That is, if Bevin can't find a way to excommunicate you somehow.

But, with a closer examination of the news, there is some good news out there, in fits in spurts, and in the kind of races only nerds like me follow. In Pennsylvania, yet another judicial race, for the PA Supreme Court, was stoked into a movement proxy race for national causes as more than $15mm poured into the campaign for three open seats. Aside from the mere fact that it's the Commonwealth's Supreme Court, the race is important because the Supreme Court has final say over redistricting. All three Democrats won, tipping the balance of the court. But of course we know that having judges subject to popular vote and all that unregulated money to support campaigns is stupid on its face, so maybe it's time to give judicial elections the old heave-ho.

And bestest, in Colorado, in the outskirts of Denver, yet another local race was turning into a battleground for the school reform movement and those that think the last thing the school reform movement cares about is education. Back in 2013 Jefferson County, CO, a school reform slate was voted in to control the school board. Since then the school board became a test laboratory for the movement: attacking tenure, proposing performance review, endowing charter schools and, most controversially, tinkering with curriculum deemed not patriotic enough. Another publicized money fight ensued in the form of a recall of the conservative members, with the Koch brothers on one side and unions on the other. The result? A bunch of school-privatization school board members updating their resumes.

So, some small consolations. And frankly, if progressives take a page from the Americans For Prosperity playbook and learn that local elections can have commensurate consequence with national elections, it would be a good thing.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:47 AM